While the details aren’t set in stone yet, China Southern has announced that they intend to launch service to New York JFK sometime in 2014, once they take delivery of their first 777-300ER aircraft.
“Currently we don’t have any presence on the (North American) east coast, so next year we plan to launch a new Guangzhou-New York service” said China Southern CEO Tan Wangeng during a press briefing in Guangzhou to mark the debut of the airline’s Airbus A380 service to Sydney and Boeing 787 flights to Auckland.
However, Tan said the New York route hinges on the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 777-300ER, due in the middle of 2014.
“We are waiting for the appropriate aircraft type for this service which can fly the long range” Tan said. “Next July we will take delivery of a brand new Boeing 777-300ER which will make this route possible.”
This would certainly be an exciting development. China Southern is part of SkyTeam and their A380 service between Los Angeles and Guangzhou is a great option for redeeming Delta SkyMiles. While China Southern doesn’t release nearly as much award space on their A380 service to Los Angeles as they did when the route launched, they still release a fair amount of space if booking in advance, and I hope the same will be true for the new route to New York.
Since this is a new delivery 777-300ER I expect they’ll have a solid business class product as well, since China Southern really seems to be putting an effort into competing for premium passengers.
I’ll post again once the route becomes official. Definitely a very exciting development for those with Delta SkyMiles living on the east coast.